Waubonsee Neighborhood School officers have authorized the development of a profession training constructing, which can home the faculty’s automotive expertise, auto physique restore and welding applications, in an effort to assist train extra college students expertise seen as desperately wanted within the office.
Ne’Keisha Stepney, govt dean for Enterprise, Know-how, and Workforce Schooling at Waubonsee, mentioned that after trying on the demand within the labor market and speaking with college students in highschool, they realized the necessity to develop the present profession training choices on the college.
The brand new constructing won’t solely present room for extra lessons but in addition extra trendy services and probabilities for Waubonsee to associate with industries within the space.
“We’re bursting on the seams,” Stepney mentioned. “Courses within the automotive expertise program refill in lower than 5 minutes of registration opening. It’s positively an in-demand program for the faculty and we need to function many college students as potential.”
An idea plan for the Profession and Technical Schooling constructing was authorized by the Waubonsee Board of Trustees in October.
The brand new constructing will sit on the south finish of the faculty’s Sugar Grove campus and is projected to price round $59 million, officers mentioned.
Building is ready to start in April 2024 and can embrace specialised lab area, school rooms, laptop labs and a typical space. The constructing is ready to open within the fall of 2025.
A latest TechForce report exhibits the demand for automobile technicians in america continues to outpace the provision by almost three to 1.
Waubonsee is among the few faculties in Illinois to supply collision refinishing and restore applications. Stepney mentioned that whereas there have been loads of new developments in autos, together with electrical automobiles, folks nonetheless are stepping into wrecks. Auto restore staff are additionally having to be taught new ability units to take care of the brand new autos.
Simply this semester at Waubonsee, automotive expertise lessons noticed 280 college students enrolled.
The demand has been so excessive from highschool college students, significantly from Oswego and West Aurora excessive faculties, that Waubonsee has created “signing days” in March for college kids to enroll in this system as a result of there have been “so many college students eager to get assured spots,” mentioned Stephanie Wennmacher, govt director of promoting and communications for Waubonsee.
There are at the moment 16 welding stations at Waubonsee’s Plano campus and officers with the faculty hope to double the quantity within the new constructing after seeing the demand from highschool college students, Wennmacher mentioned.
With the rise in area on the new constructing, it’s going to additionally enable college students to have extra “time on activity,” which means extra time to make use of the gear and truly follow what they’re studying, offering a greater expertise, Wennmacher mentioned.
Waubonsee officers need to be sure that the profession training college students are getting traces up with the talents employers are in search of.
Officers meet with native business leaders to debate the curriculum, together with what to give attention to, akin to new expertise or a specific software program.
Working with employers within the space is necessary, Stepney mentioned.
“By making the funding, it exhibits how critical we’re about constructing the perfect expertise pipeline,” she mentioned.
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